Jared Mees Looks to Clinch AFT Twins Title at this Weekend’s 100th Springfield Mile
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 28, 2018) – This Sunday’s Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II (and Saturday’s Springfield Short Track for AFT Singles) is already one of the biggest, fastest and most anticipated motorcycle events of the year. Records have been set, championships have been won and careers have been forged in this Midwestern crucible of speed.
This Sunday’s event on Sept. 2 is no exception, and here’s why.
First, it’s the 100th running of the ‘world’s fastest mile,’ with racing having commenced at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 1937. Secondly, nine-time Grand National Champion Scott Parker, with 94 career victories (most all-time) and 14 victories at the Springfield Mile, will be on hand as Grand Marshal. Thirdly, injured AFT Singles rider Parker Norris is scheduled to attend and thank fans and the paddock for the support over the last couple of very trying months.
Finally, reigning AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) can clinch the 2018 title if he comes away from Springfield with at least a 75-point advantage over current runner-up ‘King Henry’ Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/Wilco Racing/Willy Built Indian Scout FTR750. The gap is now 92 points.
Of course, Springfield Mile I winner Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee Scout FTR750) would love to play spoiler in the Mees championship scenario. The third-in-points Illinois native has often matched Mees’ speed on ovals this year, and his Springfield win on May 28 was impressive. There’s also second-in-points Wiles to keep an eye on, along with Mees teammate Bryan Smith (No. 4 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750), who ran strong at the Black Hills Half-Mile and who’s consistently fast on the Miles.
Also on Sunday’s ticket is round two of AFT Production Twins, a class that offers up-and-coming AFT Singles riders a chance to race production-based twins. Michael Inderbitzin (No. 54 Weirbach Racing/Kawasaki USA Kawasaki Ninja 650), who came from the back of the pack to win in May, is looking for a repeat, but a host of hungry AFT Singles riders will work to deny him that dual victory.
Those AFT Singles riders will also be looking for a win and valuable points the night before (Sat. Sept. 1) at the Springfield Short Track, and with nine winners in 14 races it’s anyone’s guess who will climb to the top of the box. Dan Bromley (No. 62 KTM North America/Bromley Motorsports 450 SX-F) leads the pack with 243 points, but he’s got a hungry and motivated – and 2016 Singles champ – Ryan Wells (No. 94 RMR/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450) just 42 points back.
As always, the Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II/Springfield Short Track weekend is chock full of interesting entertainment options:
- Rookie Class of ’79 – American Flat Track’s Official Charity Partner – is hosting a golf outing to benefit Parker Norris, who was injured back in June but who plans to attend Springfield this weekend. To enter, sign up at http://www.amaft79.com/.
- Rookie Class of ’79 will also host a street party on Friday evening at 5:00 pm at Boone’s Saloon behind the Illinois State Capital. AFT stars will be there to sign autographs, and there will be memorabilia sales and special auction items to help injured riders.
- Amateur Short Track racing commences on Friday, including the AMA Vintage National Championship. Practice at 3 pm, racing at 5 pm. It’s the perfect warm-up for Saturday’s and Sunday’s heated pro competition.
- Shayna Texter autograph signing at Hall’s Husqvarna (3801 N Dirksen Parkway) Friday evening from 5:30 - 6:30 pm.
- Bultaco Astro Challenge vintage racing happens Saturday alongside AFT Singles and All Star National championship competition. Come watch vintage stars of the sport, including Joe Kopp, Garth Brow, Davey Durrelle, Greg Tysor, Lance Jones, Kevin Varnes, Jamie James and Class of ’79’s own Charlie Roberts mix it up on ’70s-era two-strokes!
- Autograph signing with H-D factory team members Sammy Halbert, Brandon Robinson and Jarod Vanderkooi at Hall’s Harley-Davidson (2301 N Dirksen Parkway) Saturday afternoon from 1-3 pm.
- Gates for Saturday’s Springfield Short Track open at 12:00 pm CT, with qualifying starting at 4:00 am CT and racing beginning at 7:00 pm CT. The AFT Singles Main Event is scheduled for 8:40 pm CT. Catch all the AFT live streaming action on FansChoice.tv beginning at 5:00 pm ET (4:00 pm CT) at https://www.fanschoice.tv/watch-live/american-flat-track
Tickets for the Springfield Short Track are $20 and available at https://www.springfieldmile.org/Tabs/Events/EventList.aspx
- Past Springfield Mile Winners including Bill Tuman, Scott Parker, Chris Carr, Kevin Atherton, Bryan Smith, Kenny Coolbeth Jr., Jake Johnson, Jared Mees and Jeffrey Carver Jr. to be honored during Opening Ceremonies.
- Harley-Davidson XR750 display featuring the XR Jeffrey Carver Jr. rode when he raced for Kiesow Racing. Fans can sit on the bike and snap photos.
- Park and Display Bike Show by Vintage Iron Riders for bikes 25 years or older.
- Live music from ZZ Trip from 10–1 pm Sunday in front of the grandstand.
- Food Trucks galore for a unique assortment of food and refreshment.
- ABATE Bike Drawing and Parade Lap led by Grand Marshal Scott Parker at intermission to aid Parker Norris and Brad Baker.
Gates for Sunday’s Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II open at 9:00 am CT, with practice and qualifying starting at 10:00 am CT. An autograph signing/open-paddock fan walk is scheduled for 12:00 pm CT, with racing beginning at 1:30 pm CT. Main Events are scheduled for 3:00 pm CT (AFT Production Twins) and 3:30 pm CT (AFT Twins). Catch all the AFT live streaming action on FansChoice.tv beginning at 11:00 am ET (10:00 am CT) at https://www.fanschoice.tv/watch-live/american-flat-track
Tickets for the Springfield Mile II start at $45. Premier Pass tickets are $140 and include a reserved Grandstand seat, pit pass, t-shirt, program and catering. Kids tickets are $30. Get tickets for both events at https://www.springfieldmile.org/Tabs/Events/EventList.aspx
For a thoroughly in-depth Springfield Mile II experience with flag-to-flag coverage of all three Main Events (AFT Twins, Production Twins and AFT Singles) enhanced by drone and onboard footage, be sure to catch the NBC Sports feature telecast of the Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II and Springfield Short Track when it premieres on NBCSN on Saturday, September 22 at 2:30 pm ET (11:30 pm PT). Be sure to check your local listings, or for the complete broadcast schedule for AFT on NBCSN, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn
Finally, if you’re in Milwaukee for Harley-Davidson’s 115th celebration, keep in mind Springfield is only a 4.5-hour ride from Milwaukee on Sunday. It’s a great way to cap off your weekend.